Guangzhou Evergrande midfielder Darío Conca “happy to return to Fluminense"
Guangzhou Evergrande midfielder Darío Conca is “happy to return to Fluminense.”
The 30 year-old will rejoin the Rio de Janeiro-based side, who were relegated to the Brasileirão Série B on Sunday, following the conclusion of the FIFA Club World Cup.
"My family will fly to Morocco with me for the Club World Cup and we will head to Brazil from there,” he told FIFA.com. “I am happy to return to Fluminense but I thank Guangzhou and my stay in China will be a fond memory to cherish."
Conca left Fluminense to join Guangzhou in July 2011 for $10 million. At the time, it was reported his annual salary would be $12.5 million.
He has had three memorable seasons with the club, winning the Chinese Super League in each of them, as well as the the Chinese FA Cup and Chinese Super in 2012.
The crowning moment of Conca’s time with Guangzhou was lifting the AFC Champions League in October. Marcello Lippi’s side beat FC Seoul on away goals to win the trophy for the first time in their history.
"To be honest, I didn't expect to achieve so much with Guangzhou," admitted Conca. "Upon my arrival in Guangzhou the club told me they were hoping I would help the team win the Asian title within five years. I am happy that we made it in less than three years.
"We were all excited to achieve this. For all of us, winning the Asian championship is special because it means we have qualified for the Club World Cup.”
Guangzhou open their FIFA Club World Cup campaign against Al-Ahly SC on Saturday at the Stade Adrar Arena. The winner of that tie will face Bayern Munich.
"The Club World Cup will be a hard test for us," continued Conca "We will meet the African champions and if we make it through, awaiting us are the likes of Bayern Munich and Atlético Mineiro. It requires us to pay more energy and passion.
"No one likes losing games. Neither do I. We are looking to become the world champions and we have the confidence needed to win it heading into the competition.”